The last time Casey Abrams was the lowest vote-getter on “American Idol,” he looked like he was a breath away from having a heart attack onstage.
This time, he got to leave in style.
Abrams did not look shocked or crestfallen when host Ryan Seacrest told him he’d be going home. Having already been the recipient of the judges’ save this season, Abrams knew he had run out of chances
But instead of again needing medical attention on results night or mailing it in with a forgettable performance, he left the audience with a rendition of “I Put a Spell on You” that ranks as the best exit number ever.
He began by walking down to the judges’ station and offering up a kiss, like the one he gave Jennifer Lopez a week ago. This time, however, he planted one on Steven Tyler instead. So clearly, his judgment or his vision may have been impaired.
Then he went into the audience to kiss the girls in the front row and also to sing a few notes in between. He found his family, then got back onstage and entertained the remaining five “Idol” finalists. After getting James Durbin to bow in homage, he stared at Haley Reinhart, his duet partner (and possible love interest, if you like the whole Internet rumor thing), and sang the final “you’re mine” line to her.
It was awesome and entertaining, as was every Casey Abrams performance, and he will be sorely missed for that. But although he didn’t win the competition, the judges were vindicated in their decision to save him a month ago. It wouldn’t have been right for him to go out any other way, and odds are 100 percent that you’ll be seeing him in the entertainment industry for years to come.
Who else is in trouble?
Scotty McCreery was the singer standing next to Abrams in the spotlight of danger. If that meant he was the second-lowest vote-getter, that would have been a huge surprise.
But the fact that he had to sweat for a few extra minutes could just mean the “Idol” producers wanted to torture him because Ryan never actually revealed who the bottom three vote-getters were.
He said that he’d be giving the results “in random order.” Believe that or not, but he never uttered the words “you’re in the bottom three” all night. Singers were either declared instantly safe (Reinhart and Durbin) or that they’d find out their fate in a few minutes (everyone else).
Maybe it was supposed to build drama. Instead, it was just annoying.
It was a big results show for mentor Jimmy Iovine, whose taped comments on the remaining “Idols” were aired before each found out their results. And he made an impression from his opening salvo.
“As an artist, Haley’s problem is that she really doesn’t know who she is yet. My prediction is that the audience is getting wind tonight, and if she goes home tonight it will be because of that,” he said.
To which Reinhart responded with ... something unairable. That’s going to be a fun mentoring session next week.
Also of note: Iovine compared McCreery to Johnny Cash, said that “Lauren only hears the negative in her critique,” and said Jacob Lusk was on “banana peel status.”
Back in the day, “Idol” had judges who made comments like that. But in a season 10 that just lost its most entertaining act, it’s apparently up to the mentor to make waves.
Craig Berman is a TODAY.com's "American Idol" correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @CraigBerman as he live tweets each episode.